The Danske Bank Premiership prepared for this weekend’s return with the season launch event at the National Football Stadium on Wednesday evening.
Following on from last season’s hugely successful campaign in which the prestigious Gibson Cup returned to Crusaders after a dramatic final day triumph back in April.
Newry City and Institute have also returned to the top division of football in Northern Ireland.
NI Football League Managing Director Andrew Johnston said: “We’re all set to go with another exciting campaign this weekend! Crusaders and Coleraine took us to the wire last year, but we expect the Danske Bank Premiership to be more competitive than ever this year with all clubs strengthening over the summer.
“The support from Danske Bank has been invaluable to Irish League football over the past six seasons, we have focused supporting our clubs grow off the pitch as well as on the pitch and that is starting to show as a result of this partnership.”
Stephen Matchett, Chief Financial Officer at Danske Bank said: “It’s a pleasure for us to be back here at the National Stadium for the launch of the 2018/2019 Danske Bank Premiership season, our seventh season as title sponsors. Our partnership with the Northern Ireland Football League in both the Men’s and Women’s Premierships supports our ambition to make more possible for people and communities throughout Northern Ireland. We’re looking forward to another exciting season of local football.”
This Saturday, Glenavon host Linfield at Mourneview Park, whilst the two promoted clubs – Institute and Newry City return to action at the Brandywell. In the other games, there’s a Belfast derby at The Oval between Glentoran and Cliftonville, a repeat of the League Cup final between Dungannon Swifts and Ballymena United at Stangmore Park and last year’s runners-up Coleraine host Warrenpoint Town.
The Champions, Crusaders, must wait to Monday to start the defence of their title at home to Ards (kick-off 7.45pm).
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